Getting your double g back!

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Vulgano Brother, Oct 10, 2006.

  1. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    When is a double g not a double g? It would seem to depend on whom we talk to. Theorists and violists would maintain that what we call a “double C†(c4), is in fact a b-flat 3, or in other words, a “high Bb.†This is because notes names are based on the lowest note of a scale starting on c, be it Sub-Contra C or whatever, and all the ascending notes belong to the same species. Hence, our double g must be higher, not lower, than a double c.

    Trumpet players are not violists, however, and those that are theorists are thankfully first and foremost trumpet players.

    In trumpet-speak of ages ago our pedal c was called “Basso.†Our low g was called “Vulgano.†Middle c, e, and g belonged to the “Principale†player. The “Clarini†got to spend most their time between c and high c, sometimes dipping down to what was for them a “low†g (even as low as the Vulgano g, as in the Christmas Oratorio or up to a double g in Michael Haydn). A notated c an octave above high c is rightfully called a double c, and for trumpet players the g below that may be rightfully considered a double g. That does not, however, excuse us for playing without taste (unless attacking violists).
  2. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

    Mar 21, 2006
  3. bilboinsa

    bilboinsa Piano User

    Jan 24, 2006
    San Antonio, TX
    In my world, "high" begins with the C above staff. No dubbas until Dubba C then Dubba D. Dubba E, etc... Unfair that a B just one half-step below high C is not considered "high". Probably ignorant, but I think that is what most trumpeters I know refer to as well.
  4. John P

    John P Piano User

    Jun 16, 2006
    Camp Hill, PA
    I'd consider the B (and even the Bb) below dubba C to be a dubba B. If someone told me to demonstrate a high B, for whatever reason, I'd play the one right below high C. I've never heard a dubba B called "high B."

    While my definition of the dubba range technically starts at Bb, I usually call G's and A's dubbas, just because it sounds cooler :)
  5. trumpetmike

    trumpetmike Forte User

    Oct 11, 2004
    Farnham (a place too smal
    I find the easiest way to refer to notes is with common reference - rather than double G, I would suggest calling it G over high C, or G over double C - depending which one you believe to be the double G.
  6. _TrumpeT_

    _TrumpeT_ Piano User

    Apr 26, 2006
    Wow the terminology is very interesting. Did the same terms apply regardless of the key of the trumpet?
  7. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    G-wizz- this gives an entirely different meaning to the air on a G string by Bach.....

    Great research Vulgano Brother! Do you have suggestions for finding more info?

    Up until around 1850 it was common practice to give trumpet players transposed parts and specify trumpet in whatever key. This means that Basso would be pedal c on a C trumpet and d on a D trumpet for instance(the same for vulgano....). The classical and early romantic period didn't really have any "high" notes. I believe the trumpet guilds fell out of favor back then with composers and orchestras and the parts were reduced to function tones.

    Doesn't the double octave officially start with A and not G (would explain why some trumpet players can play the G in the Brandenburg but struggle with the A.........)?
  8. Eclipsehornplayer

    Eclipsehornplayer Forte User

    Sep 14, 2005
    Metro Detroit


    I can't play up there yet so I don't worry about it.

    Good work though; it was a good read!
  9. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Naming notes is a fascinating diversion, but it is our goal to “own†the notes. If a note belongs to me, I can name it whatever I want to. I may find that calling a note a double g helps get my air and energy pumped up enough to play it – great! If I freak out at the “double,†if I panic and choke, maybe calling it something else will help me play it – great!

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